Anorak News | Wine Con

Wine Con

by | 10th, November 2006

MARTIN Isark is an oenophile.

Hanging might well be too good for him, but for now the wine expert risks incurring the wrath of illiterate kiddie-protectors and wine makers by saying that a lot of prize plonk is rubbish.

The heard mentality that affects most choices in life sees wine drinkers selecting wine by the number of medals that appear on the label.

These medals, typically gold in colour and issued by the Angola Institute of Wine and such like, are a money-making scam dreamt up by marketing types.

Says Mr Isark: “Who is benefiting from these awards? It has to be the wine houses who clear their stock, the supermarkets who can drum up sales from promotions, and the companies which organise the competitions. I am not convinced the consumer gets anything out of it.”

Mr Isark’s point seems valid. Given the choice between a wine that bears more medal than a North Korean general and a bottle adorned with only the price, many of us will opt for the former.

But Mr Isark is a little mistaken to assume that the consumer gets nothing from the deal.

To Anorak’s cultured pallet, all wines can be distilled into two distinct categories: warm and cold.
The ability of the average punter to pick out traces of French onion seller, blackberries and hazy summer days along the banks of the Murray River is overstated.

As any one who has watched a British couple consume a bottle of house wine with their evening Chicken Madras will know, wine is perceived as the cultured alternative to beer.

If the bottle bears lots of gongs and shiny badges, all well and good. The dinner party will go with a tipsy swing whatever. Better yet that the gold tints add a reassuringly–expensive glint to the bottle.

And many wines win a medal. As the Times says, this year there were 9,081 entries for the International Wine Challenge. Each entrant pays between £75 and £120 to enter such a contest. And of that mass that vied for a medal at the International, 5,792 won a prize.

At this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, of the 6,300 entrants, 3,645 picked up an award.

Mindful of this, Anorak Wine Monthly has begun its own contest. Wine producers are invited to send in their bottles to the usual address.

The winner will be the nose who can sample all wines and remember their own name or that of a family member, friend or pet…

Posted: 10th, November 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink